Bios

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Photo: Christopher Messina

Tallie Medel – Mara

Tallie Medel is an actor, comedian, writer and choreographer based in New York City. After making several short films with Daniel Scheinert (later the co-director of Swiss Army Man), she made her feature debut in 2012 as the lead in Dan Sallitt’s The Unspeakable Act. Her subsequent feature film work includes Caleb Johnson’s Joy Kevin, Nathan Silver’s Uncertain Terms and Stinking Heaven, Adam Pinney’s The Arbalest, Ricky D’Ambrose’s Notes on an Appearance, and Daniel Laabs’ Jules of Light and Dark. With Sunita Mani and Eleanore Pienta, she is a co-founder of the dance-comedy trio Cocoon Central Dance Team, who were featured in the 2017 Snowy Bing Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone, directed by Rachel Wolther and Alex Huston Fischer.  Her television work includes appearances on “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Broad City.” Medel was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, and lives in New York City.

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Photo: Caitlin Mae Burke

Norma Kuhling – Jo

Norma Kuhling is a series regular on the NBC drama “Chicago Med,” playing heart surgeon Dr. Ava Bekker. Her other film and television includes a role in Scott Hicks’ Fallen, and a recurring role on the USA Network series “Falling Water.” Born and raised in New York, Kuhling made her theater debut in “Moonchildren” by Michael Weller at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Kuhling trained at Double Edge Theatre, focusing on Grotowski-based physical theater, before attending LAMDA, the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She has a background in ballet and Dunham technique, as well as classical piano and singing. When not filming on location, Kuhling lives in Chicago and London.

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Photo: Patrick Bryant

Dan Sallitt – director, writer, editor

Dan Sallitt’s previous films are The Unspeakable Act (2012), All the Ships at Sea (2004), Honeymoon (1998), and Polly Perverse Strikes Again! (1986). The Unspeakable Act won Best Film in the Independent Visions Competition at the 2012 Sarasota Film Festival, played several major festivals (including Rotterdam, Vienna, Karlovy Vary, Edinburgh, Melbourne, and BAMcinemaFest), and is distributed by Cinema Guild. Sallitt was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and attended Harvard College and UCLA’s school of Theater, Film and Television. He was the first-string film critic of the Los Angeles Reader from 1983 to 1985, and has written film criticism for many other outlets, including MUBI, the Chicago Reader, and Slate. His monograph on Japanese director Mikio Naruse is available online. Sallitt lives in New York City.

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Photo: Christopher Messina

Caitlin Mae Burke – producer

Caitlin Mae Burke is an Emmy award-winning film and television producer. She has produced directed television and web series for CNBC, Destination America, DirecTV, Discovery Networks, ESPN, OWN, TLC, Sundance Channel and YouTube RED. Her documentary feature credits include Anbessa (dir. Mo Scarpelli, Berlinale 2019), Nuts! (dir. Penny Lane, Sundance 2016, Special Jury Prize), and Obit (dir. Vanessa Gould, Tribeca 2016). Burke produced We Could Be King (2015 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Documentary, 2014 Grand Clio Award for Integrated Marketing) and Feast of the Epiphany (dir. Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman), and co-produced Approaching the Elephant (dir. Amanda Rose Wilder, True/False 2014). Her short film work includes the documentaries Adversary (dir. Scott Cummings, Dallas International Film Festival 2018, Best Documentary Short), and Ode to Joy (dir. Michael Koshkin, 2018), and the fiction films Muck (dir. Bruce Smolanoff, 2014, Best Short Film at IndieMemphis), and Judy Judy Judy (dir. C. Mason Wells, 2015). Burke was an inaugural inductee to DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” and was one of 52 producers selected for Berlinale Talents 2018. She lives in New York City.

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Photo: Craig Webster

Graham Swon – co-producer

Graham Swon is a writer, director, producer and distributor. His first directed feature The World Is Full of Secrets premiered at the 2018 Belfort Film Festival. His feature films as producer include Matías Piñeiro’s Hermia & Helena, Jem Cohen’s Counting, Ted Fendt’s Classical Period and Short Stay, and Ricky D’Ambrose’s Notes on an Appearance. Swon was named one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2016. Swon currently works as the Director of Theatrical Sales at U.S. distributor Kino Lorber, and previously managed theatrical distribution for The Cinema Guild, where he oversaw the U.S. theatrical releases of such films as Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse, Steve James’ The Interrupters, Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel’s Leviathan and Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours. He holds a BHA in Philosophy and Drama (Directing) from Carnegie Mellon University. Swon lives in New York City.

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Photo: Craig Webster

Christopher Messina – cinematographer

Christopher Messina is a filmmaker and cinematographer of experimental, narrative and documentary films. His feature film credits as a cinematographer include For The Plasma (dir. Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan), If There’s A Hell Below (dir. Nathan Williams), and the documentaries The New Radical and Hot Sugar’s Cold World (both dir. Adam Bhala Lough). His recent short film work includes Dear Renzo (dir. Agostina Gálvez and Francisco Lezama), Dead Water (dir. Andrew Gilchrist), and The Clean Up (dir. Jesse Allen). He worked as a camera operator on Josh and Benny Safdie’s Heaven Knows What and Good TimeMessina has an MFA in Film Production from Boston University.  In 2007, he was one of 12 international scholars invited to attend the Budapest Cinematography Masterclass led by Vilmos Zsigmond and Elemyr Regali. He currently lives and works in New York City and wherever the next film may take him.